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10-07-2010, 12:55 AM   #1
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Best starting lens? Cheap body and nice lens? or nice body and okay lens?

I have been looking around , I really almost dont even know what to ask.....
I was looking at the pentax K-x, but then i read on here, It might be better to get a cheaper body, and better lens...

okay, what is a better lens? 55-300mm ?
I really dont know even what to look at or for....I dont want to buy a body and crappy lens kit...

ahhhh

any further help would be great

Anyone Free to chat sometime about this on any messenger?


10-07-2010, 01:28 AM   #2
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I would describe the kx as value for money, inexpensive but not as cheap.

Which pentax body we're you thinking of that is even lower priced?
10-07-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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I have no ideas what my options are, i was going to get that pantax Kx with 18-55mm pack.
thats 620usd + tax

but everyone Is saying just get a cheaper body and a better lens...I dont know what 18-55mm Is good for. I dont know what kind of lens I should even look at anyway
10-07-2010, 01:41 AM   #4
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The kx with the 18-55 is a good buy.

The lens is a decent performer and it offers excellent value for money.

A lens like the 55-300 does not replace the 18-55. It is a tele zoom lens which extends the range of the 18-55.

You will always need a standard zoom like the 18-55 in your kit.

Buy more expensive lenses when you have gained more experience.

10-07-2010, 02:05 AM   #5
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The K-x is a good body to start with, but better one's are on their way, so budget has to be a consideration together with what you're looking for from a camera.

As to what lens, what do you/do you want to take photographs of?

If landscapes, then you'll need to look at lenses with a focal length of 10 > 14.

If sport, then you need a 'fast' lens, say f2.8.

If wildlife, then you'll need a 'long' lens, say focal length of 300+.

If macro, then you'll need, say, a 100mm lens.

See the problem? Decide what you want to 'focus' on (sorry for the pun) then come back to the Forum with more specific requirements. The best advice will follow.

But, here are some thoughts;

The 18-55 is a 'cheap' but good quality standard lens, but it is a jack of all trades. Ok as a general purpose lens; portaits, holidays, family, general landscapes, buildings etc. It'll probably be best in pointing you very quickly to what you need in terms of lenses.

The 18-250 (in either Pentax or Tamron guise) is also a good lens, and considered by many to be a good 'universal' lens. No longer in production though, so you'll need to be looking at the used market. Not too good for landscapes, but good for most other thinds, albeit 'slow'.

Don't over-look one of the big USB's for Pentax; the vast number of older lenses that still work on to-days cameras.
10-07-2010, 02:10 AM   #6
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then let me ask, Is it better to just go with a cheaper option? I mean am really trying to get the best picture , image stabilization ...and have the option to make videos (I dont care about HD)
but the video isent that important.

I would use It mostly for some kind of
photojournalism
Indoors and outdoors photos of people/models
buildings
black and white

thats it really i dont care much for sports or landscapes

so there are better things on the way? Within the same price range?
10-07-2010, 02:35 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
then let me ask, Is it better to just go with a cheaper option? I mean am really trying to get the best picture , image stabilization ...and have the option to make videos (I dont care about HD)
but the video isent that important.

I would use It mostly for some kind of
photojournalism
Indoors and outdoors photos of people/models
buildings
black and white

thats it really i dont care much for sports or landscapes

so there are better things on the way? Within the same price range?
No, not in the same price range.
10-07-2010, 03:25 AM   #8
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Do a bit more research to find out what the 18-55mm numbers mean if you have any doubt on that front. To briefly describe it, the lens is a zoom from a moderate wide angle to a moderate telephoto. That's a very useful lens for the purposes you describe. If you find yourself doing more portrait work you can pick up a prime (not zoom) manual focus lens for peanuts. You can also supplement the wide angle end with an inexpensive prime 10 to 16mm area.

There are some great examples out there that visually demonstrate what the different focal lengths do. Nothing you've described requires a tele zoom like the 55-300mm you mentioned.

PS have a look around at prices of used older gear. I think you'll be very happy with a Kx but it's good to know the price landscape.

10-07-2010, 03:38 AM   #9
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The best starting lens is the Kit lens.
It's a very capable starter. Some very beautiful pictures were taken with the kit lens.
I did buy lots of other lenses quickly as soon as I had my camera, and interestingly enough, the kit lens is still in my bag wherever I go.
It takes time to control what the camera can do and get the most out of it anyway. Everyone was saying "Start with the kit lens, see how you shoot and what you prefer."
They were right.
10-07-2010, 06:43 AM   #10
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To see the effect (or meaning) of the numbers, check the Focal Length Comparison Tool on the Tamron website.

And as said, start with the kit lens if you don't know. You will eventually (or maybe never) encounter its limitations for your shooting and if you encounter the limitations it's the time to look at other lenses.

Last edited by sterretje; 10-07-2010 at 06:51 AM.
10-07-2010, 07:37 AM   #11
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Overall, its probably better to get a less expensive body and invest in lenses. That said, just starting out, the best overall - body and lens value is a kit, which contains the body and the kit lens together.

So with that, what to buy. Currently, the Kx is a very good value for a body. In time it will probably be replaced by the Kr which has some additional features, however these futures, you will probably be hard pressed to use, so by getting the Kx you will have everything you need. The Kx essentially has all of the most modern features. By going backwards to the Km/K2000, or K200D or K100D Super, you progressively loose technology upgrades and features. The price will go down but not that much. You also loose the warranty since the warranty has expired. With the Kx you get a 1 year warranty on the body and for an additional $20-$29 you can extended it for an additional 2 years. So my advice is the Kx (and with the release of the Kr, it will push the Kx price down possibly a bit lower).

Lenses - The kit lens. For the price, it is an exceptional value, and compared to Canon and Nikon - its a very good lens. Check out this link.....Right now, you really do not know what you are going to be taking pictures of, so to go out and invest hundreds of dollars for a wide angle lens is not recommended. Buy the kit and it will work very well for you. It will also help you determine potentially what you may want to do next. There is also a 2 lens kit - the 18-55 lens and either the 50-200 lens or 55-300 lens. If you have and want to spend the additional money, the 55-300 is excellent (better than the 50-200). Between these two lenses - you should be set to really do anything.

If the 18-55 kit is too narrow, you can electronically stitch multiple images together as a panorama. For low light, you can bracket with three images and stack them in a HDR. There are a wide number of techniques that can be applied. With the basic kit, you have all the tools. Its just a matter of learning how and when to apply them to various situations.

QuoteQuote:
okay, what is a better lens? 55-300mm ?
I really dont know even what to look at or for....I dont want to buy a body and crappy lens kit...
For a really fast prime you can get a k 50/f1.2 Special for a mere $2000
For wide angle you can spend $700 for a DA 12-24
For a really fine telephoto you can spend $1600 for a DA 60-250
For an excellent prime telephoto you can spend $1500 for a DA* 300mm
For a really specialized telephoto you can spend $9000 for a K 1200mm
I cherry picked specific lenses with high price points to try to make a point here. What I am trying to say, is that these are pretty specialized lenses with specific glass for specific purposes. You are not going to buy any of these unless you feel the need or have particular purposes in mind.

The kit lenses are not crappy lenses. They serve a purpose for a pretty large population of photographers. They work , work well and are affordable. They also let you discover where you want to take your interest in photography with out breaking the bank.

There are alternatives, also...
  • The DA 16-45 for about $200 a kit alternative. But it is larger and heavier. It also extends out such that it leaves a potential shadow in the image if used with the pop up flash. The kit lens is much smaller and lighter. It fits into a coat pocket very nicely, as the 16-45 does not.
  • There is the 16-50/f2.8 good lens for low light, but even larger and heavier. If you are not going to do a lot in low light, why go to the size, weight and expense.

I could go on, but I'll stop here....

The Kx kit you link to (Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lenses (Black)) with the 18-55 and 55-300 covers everything extremely well. The 55-300 lens is the basic zoom that most use and is a very good 300 zoom until you have the need to get a 300 prime for something like birding, etc.



Last edited by interested_observer; 10-07-2010 at 07:57 AM.
10-07-2010, 08:13 AM   #12
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The K-x will do all the things you have indicated are interests with fine results. It's got great low light performance so indoor shooting is easier with it than many of the equivalent priced options. interested_observer's comments above hit the nail on the head IMHO.

I would add that if you are doing protraits a manual Prime (non-zoom) lens is a VERY cheap addition to your kit and with a fixed distance and mostly non-moving objects a 50mm f1.7 or f2 A model will not break the bank and can produce amazing results on the K-x.

Good luck with your pursuit. BTW, I was able to get the K-x (black) with the 18-55 & 55-300 kits lenses for $628 shipped from Amazon last month.
10-07-2010, 08:20 AM   #13
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wow thats a lot of Info to take In,
I guess am still going for the Kx...It did have a plastic cheap feel to the body, so When I was looking at It In a shop I felt a little turned off, but thats not a big deal.

I Guess am not trying to get over my head with all the lenses, I just want to make sure I get the right thing for that price range.

But thanks for all your help so far. I guess that kit will be more then enough for now
10-07-2010, 08:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
then let me ask, Is it better to just go with a cheaper option? I mean am really trying to get the best picture , image stabilization ...and have the option to make videos (I dont care about HD)
but the video isent that important.
Your only inexpensive option on the Pentax side of things for video would be the K-x. If you can forgoe video and don't mind picking up something used, you can get a K-m or K200D for even less.


QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
I would use It mostly for some kind of
photojournalism
Indoors and outdoors photos of people/models
buildings
black and white

Now if you're really trying to get the "best" picture, you may need something better than the 18-55 kit lens, which, although a decent enough optic, is outclassed by nearly every Pentax lens that shares portions of its focal length. The trouble is, if you're really going to shoot buildings and portraits, indoor and outdoor photos, and photojournalism, you almost need several lenses. The 16-50/2.8 and the 50-135/2.8 would give you the range you needed (along with the speed), but would cost you over $1,500. A cheaper alternative would be to try to make do with prime lenses. The new, soon to be released DA L 35/2.4 could do most of what you need (provided you're willing to zoom with your feet), and will be more useful in lowlight/indoor situations than the kit lens. Shooting with that lens will give you a better idea of other focal lengths you might need, and you can then later get some additional primes to fill out your collection.

Another option with Pentax is older manual focus lenses, many of which are outstanding and cost less than newer, AF lenses. The old Pentax-M 50/1.7 can often be purchased on ebay (or keh.com) for less than $70 and is about as sharp as any lens Pentax ever made. It makes a fairly decent portrait lens on APS-C.
10-07-2010, 08:39 AM   #15
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I've held several Nikon and Canon entry-level dSLRs in my hands recently and I just don't get it when people say the K-x feels cheap. Honestly, the K-x felt more substantial than ANY of the Canikon entry level models I handled.

If you are just starting out the 18-55 + 55-300 with a nice manual A prime like the 50/f1.7 or a 28/f2.8 will allow you to shoot a LOT of different things and learn the camera system while taking some solid shots IMHO.

Good luck.
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